Another "Customer Service Hell" story

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dennis Reno, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    in what appears to be a never-ending cycle of bad luck, I am enjoying yet another case of "Customer Service Hell". The CliffNotes version is below.
    CliffNotes:
    Bought new home. Closed on Wednesday, Jan 30. Informed at closing that gas/electric scheduled to be shut off on following Monday to allow us plenty of time to transfer without interuption. Snow/Ice storm begins in Michigan on same day. Call gas/electric company on Thursday, Jan 31 to transfer accounts. No can do, in "emergency mode" responding to ice storm. Call Friday, Feb 1, still in "emergency mode". Ditto on Saturday.
    Call on Sunday, Feb 3, receive "emergency mode" message. Breakthrough system by pushing button "to report emergency." Explain situation to so-called service personnel. Told (in a very curt manner) that gas/electric "ONLY RESPONDING TO EMERGENCIES." I explain that if gas and/or electrical shut off on Monday, frozen pipes will constitute emergency. I'm told that due to emergency NO REGULAR SERVICE CALLS WILL BE DONE BEFORE TUESDAY. Again I'm informed that my situation is NOT an emergency and to NOT call back before Tuesday morning.
    Call back Tuesday (Feb 5) morning. "Emergency mode" message still up. Call Tuesday afternoon. Speak to another service guru. Electric service transferred. However, gas has been shut off. Gas shut off on Monday... morning. After explaining situation, told that service tech will be out to house that afternoon or evening BUT someone needs to be there. They will call 10-15 minutes ahead of time. Oh, by the way, I'm on vacation in Florida! Contact father-in-law. Told "no problem" will wait for call and then meet tech at house. Waits all afternoon. Waits all evening. At approx. 10:00pm heads to house. House very cold. Drains entire water system "just to be safe." No tech calls.
    Wednesday (Feb 6) tech calls at 11:00am (yep, the one that was supposed to show up yesterday. In-laws both at work. No one responds to call. I call gas/electric company. Very tersely explain situation and tell them to reschedule for Friday (Feb 8.) Wife and I return from vacation early. Told to expect call "sometime Friday."
    Thursday (Feb 7) call gas/electric company to confirm Friday appt. Reconfirm contact number is my cell phone number. All set for Friday!
    Friday (Feb 8) Spend hours at very cold home. No calls, no visit from tech. I call at 3:30pm. Informed I'm still on schedule, just wait a few more hours, but no contact number is available. I AGAIN give them my cell phone number. Wait a few more hours, no tech. I call again at 7:00pm. Told that due to error (NOT on my part) my appt was "booted out of the system." Told to expect technician in "the next few hours."
    Saturday (Feb 9) I call at 12:05am. Told "computer system down." Ask to speak to supervisor. No transfer without first explaining my situation. I do so, receive transfer. Again explain situation. Told (at 12:20) situation will be looked into, expect call back "in next 15 minutes." 1:00am still waiting...
     
  2. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 1999
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A world-class dicking.
    Any chance they'll let you pay your bill two weeks late?
    I guess not. [​IMG]
     
  3. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have found that in these situations the best and most effective course of action is to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. The local news usually loves this stuff as well. It will really atract alot of attention to your case.
     
  4. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  5. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keep in mind Charles that ONLY the gas was shut off!

    Oh, btw, here is the latest update:

    I called at 1:15am. Waited on hold for 20 minutes. Asked to speak with the supervisor Ms. Pettus (the one who was going to call me back in 15 minutes) I was placed on hold. Several mintues later was told that she wasn't available, did I want her voice mail. I said "no" and asked what would happen if I turned the gas back on. I was told that would be considered "Tampering" and charges could be brought against me. I asked who would bring the charges (Fed, State or company) and she responded "our security department." I replied "If they are as inept as the rest of your company I look forward to it." I then thanked her and hung up.
     
  6. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,429
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think I would find a way to turn the gas on myself and conveniently forget to tell the gas company that my gas was on. Don't you pretty much just turn on your gas with a valve right out on the street, or at the box attached to your house?
     
  7. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    New update (as of 10:15am EST):

    At 1:45am I received a call from Ms. Pettus. She stated that dispatch had been notified and that I could expect a service technician to come out around 8:00am. She also took my phone number to make sure they called ahead.

    Currently (10:15am) I am on hold waiting to chew out the next customer service rep. I've already spoken to a guy who is a licensed contractor with experience working with gas. He said he will give me a hand starting the gas this afternoon.

    Shawn - that is exactly what I plan on doing. I've never knowingly taken anything without paying for it, but after nearly 10 hours of phone calls and numerous hours waiting for calls and service techs they can kiss my ass!

    Hmmm, it is February. Isn't Feb a "sweeps" month for TV? I bet one of the local stations would love this!
     
  8. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    3,125
    Likes Received:
    204
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    'skonsen
    Real Name:
    John Dhein
    Go for it Dennis
     
  9. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2000
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why is it that the gas company charges for some guy with a butt crack showing to come out, turn a dial then charge you $50 for turning that dial when I can just do it myself? When I had the gas turned on in my apartment thats all the guy did. I had to sync it up with the apartment complex because the gas man doesn't actually light any pilot lights...he only turns the knob. The apartment then has to come out and light the pilots. What was really funny is that I was at work and arranged for my parents to be in my new apartment so the cable, electric, gas and apartment guys could come in to do their work. My mom gave ALL of them some serious grief as they were working. [​IMG] They had the cable guy placing splitters and checking every single jack in my 2 bedroom apartment. There are a ton of jacks all over the place. My dad kept insisting that every jack needs to work. They would find one that didn't and my dad would force the guy to stay until it was fixed.
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm assuming when they shut your gas off they just turned it off at the meter outside your house. All you need is an adjustable wrench, there's a little valve on it that's sort of like a knob, give it a 90 degree twist and on you come.
     
  11. Marshall Alsup

    Marshall Alsup Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is fucking ridiculous [​IMG] !
    We have a company like this out in my neck of the woods, its called Verizon. God I hate them, they do the same kind of crap.
    Dennis, I hope you do go to the news. These bastards need a kick in the ass. Probably wont help though [​IMG]
    Good luck man,
    Marshall
     
  12. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well that sucks. But it can work both ways:
    My electric company is so fucked up they didn't bother charging me for 6 months. Even after informing/explaing to them the situation three times, they just kept the electricity on and never sent a bill.
    They insisted that I had NOT been living there for the past 6 months when I finally got it straightened out... Who am I to argue? [​IMG]
    (And my first bill didn't end up being like $600, they came and took a new meter reading to start my billing.)
     
  13. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "And now to the conclusion of our story..."

    Saturday 1:30am - Supervisor calls back. Tells me that a service tech will be at the house "around 8:00am". Expect a call 10-15 minutes prior to arrival.

    Saturday 10:00am - still no call from service guy or dispatch. Call DTE. On hold for nearly 30 minutes. Explain situation. Service rep looks at record and has a good laugh. She explains why no one has made it out. Rectifies the situation (according to her) and tells me to expect someone to be there no later than 1:00pm. Also tells me that if no one shows by that time, call her immediately.

    Saturday 11:15am - with portable DVD player and several movies in hand, I arrive at house and proceed to sit in vehicle (while watching Shawshank Redemption) just so I can't possibly miss the service guy.

    Saturday 1:00pm - I call service rep and inform her that no one has shown up. She puts me on hold and five minutes later comes back to tell me that dispatch claims the service guy was at the house at 12:35pm and no one was home! I tell her that either a) Tech at wrong house (VERY unlikely) or b) Tech is a liar. I then inform her that I have been sitting in my car in the DRIVEWAY for the last two hours! She is not pleased and tells me again to hold. Ten minutes later she comes back and tells me to expect a service guy within an hour. If no one shows up I'm to call back ASAP.

    Saturday 2:25pm - Service guy shows up. Obviously pissed. I could give a rats ass. Point out where the gas meter is. He unlocks it and turns it on. Goes inside, ignites pilot lights on furnace, hot water tank and fireplace. Also checks to make sure there are no leaks. I have half a notion to ask if he was the moron who claims no one was home at 12:35pm but decide against it.

    So, in the end I wasted numerous hours on the phone as well as sitting at the house for what equates to roughly 5 minutes work! I can't wait to see if they actually try to bill me for the service!
     
  14. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2000
    Messages:
    3,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is why I always go with an insurance fire rather than moving.
     
  15. Bruce N

    Bruce N Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2000
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If I were you I'd put all this in a letter to every person you can find an address for at this company. Also mail letters to all local utility regulating agencies and your local government representatives.

    Make a record of this known to more than just us here at HTF. DO NOT JUST LET THIS SLIDE. I know you're feeling nice and warm now but I think it's really important for you to follow up on this. It really could make a difference!

    Bruce
     
  16. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 1999
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh man,

    This kind of stuff really gets my blood boiling.

    I've had similar problems with my cable service provider (Rogers) over the past couple of years, as well as with JVC, and Telus Mobility/Clearnet.

    It's amazing how companies can let this kind of service and treatment slide. I can understand when you're faced with timing and scheduling contraints, but this sounds like plain and simple ignorance and laziness.

    I wish I could say that writing a letter would do something, but it's my experience that whenever I do something like that it just gets lost in the ether. You'd be better off walking out your door and talking at your tree.

    Moe.
     
  17. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 1999
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This sounds like a typical experience in my neighborhood. It seems that most of our utility companies don't give a rat's ass about service. In my neighborhood, the worst one is Ameritech. This jerk drilled holes in the wall of my condo(strictly against condo rules) because he was too lazy to drill through the floor of my room into the utility room.

    This is after the first service guy claimed that they were strictly forbidden to drill any holes anywhere until I got written permission from the condo board. It took 3 service visits and 2 weeks to connect a phone line to the box 5 feet under my chair.

    And MikeAlletto,

    Do you think your parents could wait at MY house next time I need service? They sound really awesome.
     

Share This Page